Speaking Life to a perishing world for 65 years
Welcome to our
JUNE 2017 UPDATE
Hello! This is our 9th Speak Life Update, the monthly posting
to let you know what we’re up to here at Speak Life.
Our evangelistic ministry seeks to:
REVIVE Christians and
RESOURCE the Church to
REACH the World for Jesus.
Welcome to the Speak Life Update.
It’s been nearly two months since our last update – very sorry about that. Since our last one I’ve travelled three times to Southampton, twice to Bangor in Northern Ireland, I’ve also spoken in Belfast, Bournemouth, Bridgend, Berkshire and Brighton (all the Bs) – as well as Maidenhead, York, Sheffield, Wimborne and closer to home. That adds up to well over 70 talks given in pubs, restaurants, cafes, student unions, libraries, classrooms, assembly halls, theatres, as well as churches and in the open air. And when you scatter that much seed you are going to find lots of good soil and lots of hard soil. I’ve found both, but praise God there have been signs of new life springing up in a student union in Sheffield, in a New Frontiers Church in Southampton, in a Presbyterian Church in Northern Ireland, in a theatre in Maidenhead. People, whether dramatically or quietly, have been saying “I want in on Jesus.” Praise God!
It’s really made me think that Jesus’ strategy is far more a scattergy than a strategy. Jesus calls us to sow seed on all the soils and really he doesn’t give us a Plan B. He doesn’t tell us how to cultivate the ground, He doesn’t tell us how to remove stones, He explicitly tells us not to do any weeding (see Matthew 13). We sow, we sow and we sow some more. And if that doesn’t seem to be working, Jesus doesn’t tell us to change our message or change our methods, He tells us to change our location. For now move on. Shake the dust off your feet, don’t cast pearls before swine. If these people aren’t listening right now, there are plenty of others who will. So move on.
Now that doesn’t mean you move on from the long-term relationships that you have with certain people – we never move on from loving people. But, as Rico Tice says, “When your loved ones go quiet, you go quiet.” For now. Sow your seed elsewhere and come back.
It strikes me that so much of our evangelism involves ramming home the gospel to those who have already declared their closed-ness to it. Often that’s for laudable motives – we just want to see them saved – but I wonder whether other factors are at play more broadly. I wonder how much is actually about justifying ourselves before our unbelieving audience – trying desperately to convince them that we really are clever to believe in Jesus. But think of Paul among the Athenian philosophers. Having sowed the seed, some believed, some sneered, Paul left. He didn’t hang around and try desperately to appear cultured and rational in their eyes. Some believed his gospel, and that’s wonderful. But if others wouldn’t, Paul moved on to those who would believe it.
Once again, I’m not arguing that any of us “move on” from loving people. We are not to “move on” from our long-term relationships with non-Christian friends and family. But I am saying that our evangelistic strategies, more broadly, need to remember the focus on scattering. Let’s get out there and scatter. As Jesus’ parable in Matthew 13 would tell us – when people are hard, sow the seed. When some are shallow and fickle – sow the seed. When some are idolatrous and unfruitful – sow the seed. There is good soil out there and it WILL produce a crop, 30, 60, even 100-times what is sown. We have good seed, there is good soil, let’s get scattering.
Each month we try to spotlight a different aspect of our ministry. Do you get Reading Between the Lines? It’s a daily devotional that takes you through the Bible, in 365 short videos. You can subscribe to our Facebook page to get them in your feed, or subscribe to our YouTube channel or to our podcast where all the episodes are available for free. Do you struggle to get into the Bible daily? Here’s a little encouragement to see Christ in all of Scripture – subscribe now.
Having been travelling for so long, I’m really looking forward to more time in Eastbourne. Apart from one mission in June I’ll be mainly at home until September focussing on several writing projects. There are a couple of evangelistic books I’m writing. There’s Reading Between the Lines as a print edition. I’m helping to write a couple of courses and plotting and planning a big Christmas outreach too. Would you please pray for these resources which can reach hundreds of thousands, if not millions of people. Pray this seed will get scattered!
Training, St Peter’s Tunbridge Wells
Preaching Gateway Church, Poole BH12 4AA
Preaching, CCK Brighton BN1 4GQ
Preaching, King’s Church High Wycombe
Mission to St Mary’s Wootton Bedfordshire
Preaching, CCK Brighton BN1 4GQ
Preaching, All Saints Eastbourne BN21 4HE
Preaching, Kings Church Lewes BN7 2BY
Please pray for team Speak Life
Pray for Andy…
getting all our media content out there…
Pray for Sandy and Howard…
maintaining the finances and running the office…
coordinating prayer for all our work and ministry.
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